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Developing Countries: Water

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what consideration was given to holding discussions on the issue of poor water and sanitation in the developing world at the London G20 summit. (268963)

The concerns of developing countries and the poorest people were central to discussions at the G20 London summit. This is reflected in the number of positive outcomes for international development and global poverty reduction achieved at the summit.

These outcomes included G20 Leaders agreeing substantially more funds for poor countries at a time when they are being badly hit by the economic crisis. The headline figure is an additional $50 billion to safeguard development and boost growth in the poorest countries. These additional resources secured for developing countries at the London summit are available to support progress towards the MDGs, including improved water and sanitation in the developing world.

G20 Leaders also recognised our collective responsibility to address the social impact of this crisis—alongside the economic impact. The summit highlighted the importance of providing resources for social protection for the most vulnerable. A special mechanism will also be set up by the UN to track the impact of the crisis on the poor at the household level so we can ensure that assistance is properly targeted.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent steps the Government has taken to improve access to clean water and sanitation in the developing world. (268964)

The Department for International Development (DFID) is committed to improving access to water and sanitation in the developing world.

The 2008 Water Policy: “Water: An increasingly precious resource, Sanitation: A matter of dignity” sets out the steps DFID is taking to meet its £200 million commitment to address the serious water and sanitation challenges.

The policy is available on the DFID website at:

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/News/files/water-sanitation-policy-08.asp